DAP has chosen Kota Kemuning assemblyperson V Ganabatirau over three-term Klang member of parliament (MP) Charles Santiago to contest the Klang seat in the upcoming 15th General Election (GE15)
The decision to abandon Charles confirms rumours that had been circulating, prompting non-governmental groups and supporters to launch a campaign advocating for the outgoing Klang MP to be retained.
However, the party leadership claimed that it had given enough opportunities to Charles.
“It wasn’t an easy decision. We have four seats in Selangor and after 15 years (of his service) there have been requests for us to consider different people and new personalities,” Free Malaysia Today quoted Selangor DAP chairman Gobind Singh Deo as saying earlier today, 27 October.
According to Gobind, Ganabatirau had an impressive record as a Selangor executive councillor and was an experienced two-term assemblyperson, who has dealt with issues on the ground in his area.
“Well [to] me, [Ganabatirau] is an exco [who] can perform,” he told reporters.
Photo of DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke and Kota Kemuning assemblyperson V Ganabatirau.
Image via Mukhriz Hazim/Malaysiakini
Meanwhile, Charles urged his supporters to not be angry at DAP for dropping him. He also asked them to cast their votes for Ganabatirau.
In a statement, he thanked his supporters for their trust since he first won the Klang seat in 2008.
“It’s been an incredible 15 years, where I have enjoyed your trust and friendship. I am deeply grateful for your support, and I hope that I have done good [sic] by it. My biggest commitment to you, the people of Klang, was to represent you in parliament; to be your voice. I apologise if I have fallen short, but I want you to know I have tried. Deep gratitude to all of you who have been a part of my political journey,” he said.
He went on to add that the people and he share a common goal, and that is to see a fair government.
“A government that rules with compassion, integrity, accountability, and inclusion. A government that is committed to getting rid of corruption,” he said, adding that he is sure Ganabatirau shares the same dream.
“And just like I did, he too needs your support. I know many of you are upset that I am not fielded again, but I know we are better than anger. We are at a crucial time, where each of our votes counts. And therefore, I humbly request that you cast your vote for a Pakatan Harapan government.”
Photo of Charles Santiago addressing a crowd.
Image via Charles Santiago (Facebook)
It’s not yet clear if Charles will contest another seat
While the party has abandoned him, he said that he does not intend to stand as an independent.
Since he first contested and won the Klang seat in 2008, Charles had been consistently increasing his majority with 17,701 in 2008, 24,685 in 2013, and 78,773 in 2018.